An amateur female MMA fighter has died after suffering a fatal injuring during a UK bout.
Saeideh ‘Sai’ Aletaha, 26, suffered a brain injury during the K-1 contest at Central Hall in Southampton on Saturday night and was left in a critical state which she sadly did not recover from.
The British-Iranian, who studied Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University, was taken to Southampton General Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning and tragically died later that day.
The lightweight mixed martial arts fighter, described by her friends as a ‘beautiful soul’, took part in the Fast & Furious Fight series organised by Lookborai and Exile Gym, which had doctors and paramedics at ringside.
Fellow martial artists paid tribute to Miss Aletaha, a product design engineer for Stannah Stairlifts, who lived in Wiltshire and travelled ‘miles every day to train.’
A statement posted to their Facebook page read: ‘Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that following one of our matches, one of the competitors, Sai Aletaha from Lookborai who lost, unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical state that she tragically has not recovered from.
‘All competitors get in prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time.
‘But, it can and in this we make the environment as safe as possible with pre and post medicals from a Doctor, and full medical cover throughout with Doctor, Paramedic and Ambulance on site alongside our experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders, safety is not something ever skimped on in any of our 19 shows and all matches are made equal.
‘Thoughts of course go out to all family, friends and team mates, if anyone needs any support please come to us or your coaches.
‘Thank you to our team on the night who acted with utmost professionalism and carried their duties out above and beyond to react to the situation, and again we are here for any of you that needs it in this sad time.’
Another statement on Exile Gym’s Facebook page pays tribute to Miss Aletaha.
‘Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that one of our team mates unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical condition that she tragically will not recover from.
‘Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110% traveling miles every day just to train.
‘She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become a part of the family and will be sorely missed.
‘This news comes as a devastating blow to us all at the gym and the whole community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
‘If there is any questions or if anyone feels they need support at this time please do contact us.’
A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: ‘We were called shortly before 1am on Sunday 17 November by colleagues at Southampton General Hospital informing us of a woman who was being treated in hospital for a life threatening brain injury.
‘The woman, aged 26, died in hospital later that day. Enquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing. Next of kin have been informed.’